The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

“You will get a lot of answers to questions you never knew you had.” — Anne-Katrin Titze, Eye for Film

Director: Sophie Fiennes
Year: 2012
Country: Ireland, UK
Running time: 135 mins
Censor Rating: R16 - violence, offensive language, content may disturb

Producers: James Wilson, Martin Rosenbaum, Katie Holly, Sophie Fiennes
Photography: Remko Schnorr
Editor: Ethel Shepherd
Production designer: Lucy van Lonkhuyzen
Costume designer: Debbie Millington
Sound: Steve Fanagan
Music: Magnus Fiennes

With: Slavoj Žižek

Festivals: Toronto, London 2012; Rotterdam, San Francisco 2013

With infectious zeal and a voracious appetite for popular culture, stand-up psychoanalytic theorist Slavoj Žižek gets inside some epochal movies, all the better to explore how they reinforce prevailing ideologies. ‘This hidden, obscene permission to do whatever you want belongs to the Catholic Church as an institution at its purest,’ he declares, breathless from the pursuit of meaning in one of the most popular movies of all time. He’s dressed as a priest lurking in the shadows of the Mother Superior’s office in The Sound of Music. What’s more, he splutters, he’s not the first from former Yugoslavia to detect nefarious intent in ‘Climb Every Mountain’. The song was cut from the film by the censors there. Taxi Driver, Jaws, The Dark Knight, John Carpenter’s They Live (‘one of the forgotten masterpieces of the left’) and, most persuasively of all, Titanic are thoroughly infiltrated. News coverage, Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ and propaganda epics from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia also inform his stimulating, tendentious and highly entertaining rant.